Art and beauty, the everlasting question

If all life on planet Earth were destroyed by some calamity, but a painting like Mona Lisa were left intact, would it still be art? Did burning the books, in the dark ages of the Nazis and of communists, destroy the literary works? If you say no, he he he, laughing knowingly, why don’t we just burn Mona Lisa, since the work of art would not be destroyed this way?

Why are pipes sometimes called work of art – only because someone calling herself an artist put them up in an exhibition? This and a few other questions are part of my video today.

I talked some time ago about what we can look for in a painting so that we might better enjoy whatever there is to enjoy about it, and a few remarks that I made in that episode touched on the broader subject of what is art in the first place. As art often goes in our minds with the idea of beauty, and as some of the paintings I showed in my presentation did not exactly match to a conventional idea of beauty, I‘m also featuring this second question, what is beauty, in today‘s post.

In collecting information I put together a list of online sources for anyone wishing to read more about aesthetics, or the philosophy of art, which addresses the fundamental questions of what is art, what is beauty, what is the aesthetic value, and quite a few more. My collection of sources is here: